The hits just keep on coming for Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker.
As he runs for the U.S. Senate in a special election, he has had to answer questions about his sexuality, tall tales in his speeches (remember T-Bone and Wazn Miller?) and even his growing gut. Now the New York Times is reporting on private Twitter message exchanges with a stripper from Portland, Ore.
In a message to the stripper, named Lynsie Lee, Mr. Booker wrote that "the East Coast loves you, and by the East Coast, I mean me."
Ms. Lee, whose photograph on Twitter features her splayed topless across a yellow couch, replied, "Well, now I'm blushing :)"
Mr. Booker wrote back: "It's only fair."
It's pretty innocent stuff, and considering that Booker, 44, is single, there's nothing wrong with exchanging messages with a woman on Twitter. Consider the context of how they met:
Ms. Lee's correspondence with Mr. Booker came to light after he boasted that he would someday be president — of the New Jersey Star Trek Club. Ms. Lee and another Twitter user, Calla Bonanno, playfully sparred online over who would get to be his first lady, and both eventually said that they exchanged private messages with the mayor.
Probably the most touching, "awww"-worthy detail of this story is that Lee is a stripper at Casa Diablo, the self-proclaimed first vegan strip club in the world. Booker is a vegan.
In related news, all of these mini-controversies may be catching up to Booker. The Washington Post says the latest poll shows that Booker has only a 12-point lead going into Election Day (Oct. 16) against his opponent, Steve Lonegan. Booker once had a 25-point lead over Lonegan.
Read more at the New York Times.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.